Restaurants & Bars

A Tale of Two Pubs

Debbie W. | Aug 30, 2004 02:09 PM

We've kind of been on a pub kick lately, checking out pubs in the SFV. Two weeks ago, Sunday night, we tried Fox and Hounds which is on Ventura Blvd. between Tujunga and Vineland, a block west of Tortas Mexico. Last night it was Robin Hood on Burbank Blvd. in the first block east of Woodman.

Robin Hood wins a resounding victory for food and atmosphere. I had fish and chips, husband had a sandwich with bangers, we shared sherry trifle for dessert, Boddingtons for him to drink and Newcastle for me (a tad too warm for my taste). We ate at the bar. Fish was crispy and flavorful, not greasy at all. The batter on the fish was too thick for me, but I learned you can request it more lightly battered, or even poached! We're hardly experts on English pub food, but we enjoyed everything, although I wouldn't repeat the sherry trifle but instead would check out one of the steamed puddings. It was a very friendly and comfortable atmosphere, clearly there were some regulars around but we felt right at home. They also serve breakfast, which we'll check out sometime soon, and seem to have a more extensive menu overall with printed specials in effect at various times throughout the week.

At Fox and Hounds, I had shepherd's pie and he had a steak sandwich. For dessert we shared a steamed chocolate pudding (really spongecake) with warm custard. Boddingtons for both of us, nicely cold like we Americans are used to! The shepherd's pie was served with peas on the side, which I mixed in, but the meat/veggies/gravy mixture was way too salty and the mashed potatoes weren't very flavorful or crispy on the outer layer. The dessert was the highlight, a warm chocolate spongecake, dome-shaped, served with two little pitchers of warm custard. I would have been happy with just the custard. The atmosphere was much less inviting, with a smaller bar area, many fewer people at around the same time on a Sunday evening, and a somewhat less friendly vibe.

I think the prices are comparable although I wasn't really paying attention when my husband paid.

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